AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Historical record of poverty: 1,140,000 people and 1 child/adolescent out of 3

San José (Agenzia Fides) – One child or an adolescent out of 3 lives in poverty, and 481,764 children are struggling to meet their basic needs with regards to food, access to health services, home, water and electricity. This is what emerges from the 18th report Estado de la Nación officially presented recently. The problem is particularly critical among children under 12 years of age, who represent the poorest age group in Costa Rica. Among these the incidence of poverty exceeds 35%. According to some researchers, the trend is due to the high birth rates that occur in the poorest environments. The percentage of the levels of poverty and extreme poverty are similar to those of last year and amount respectively to 21.6% and 6.4%. However, due to population growth, the total number of poor people in 2011 reached its highest level ever: 1.140.435. Of these 336,305 live in conditions of extreme poverty. The report also indicates that inequality between sectors of the population who earn more and those who earn less keeps growing. Iniquity is also expressed in terms of geography: in the central area poverty is 17.7%, places such as Brunca and Chorotega, more than 30%. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 07/11/2012)

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